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Civils in the papers today - Monday 23 March

BAA, the airports operator, could be pushed into bankruptcy, or even be renationalised if its enforced disposal of Gatwick and Stansted becomes a fire sale…

…The small print in BAA’s debt financing contracts stipulates that no asset can be sold for less than 85% of its regulated value - The Times

A secret report, commissioned by three of Gatwick’s biggest airline customers, has concluded that the Sussex airport could be worth as little as £1.33bn - far below the £2bn - plus BAA initially wanted. The study, by economic consultancy Frontier Economics, was carried out on behalf of easyJet, Virgin Atlantic and tour operator TUI Travel - The Daily Telegraph

The fastest, most frequent train service in the world could run between London and the North within 12 years, according to the chairman of the government-owned company planning the high-speed link. Double-deck trains travelling at 225mph (360km/h) and carrying up to 800 passengers would depart every four minutes, cutting the journey time from London to Birmingham to 30 minutes and from London to Manchester to just over an hour - The Times

Scientists are to dig up ice dating back more than 100,000 years in an attempt to shed light on how global warming will change the world over the next century. The ice, at the bottom of the Greenland ice sheet, was laid down at a time when temperatures were 3C to 5C warmer than they are today - The Times

Switching public spending from “grey” projects building roads and expanding airports , to “green” schemes creating parks and allotments, would save billions of pounds, improve health, cut climate emissions and create jobs, say official advisers to the government. Natural England and the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (Cabe) say urban areas could be transformed into healthier, wealthier and much more pleasant places if green infrastructure received even a fraction of the investment allotted “grey” areas - The Guardian

A shake-up in the way the “boom and bust” carbon markets are working in Europe is being urged ahead of tomorrow’s auction of new emission certificates by the UK government. The Carbon Trust, which is sponsored by government money, and the consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers argue that controls might have to be put in place to prevent the EU’s emissions trading scheme (ETS) being discredited by a further collapse in prices, which have already slumped from £28 per tonne to just over £9 - The Guardian

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